Irish Lifeboats

The definitive guide to the Irish lifeboat service

Latest News

The latest news releases from the RNLI and CRBI 

Our goal is to bring you accurate and up-to-date news from the RNLI and CRBI. In addition, the website aims to inform you of events, functions etc. 

Our aim at is simple: To spread the word of the great work done by the RNLI and CRBI around the Irish Coastline. 

Get in touch with us if you have any queries or have something that you would like us to cover.

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Arranmore RNLI assists 15m crabbing boat with four onboard

Posted on September 21, 2017 at 4:05 AM

Arranmore RNLI was called to give assistance to a 15m, 60 tonne crabbing boat which got into difficulty 35 miles north west of Arranmore on Tuesday (19 September) with four crew members on board.

Arranmore RNLI assists crabbing boat with four onboard. Photo: RNLI

The lifeboat was called out at 4pm when the trawler suffered engine failure.

Weather conditions at the time were moderate with south, south east winds, force 6-7 and 3-4 metre swell.

When the lifeboat reached the trawler, the crew secured a tow rope and the trawler was towed to the safety of Burtonport harbour.

Speaking following the call out, Arranmore RNLI Coxswain Jimmy Early said: 'This was a text book rescue with favourable weather conditions and experienced fishermen who knew exactly what action to take in an emergency, they did all the right things to effect their rescue.'

Dun Laoghaire RNLI rescues two from capsized dinghy on Dublin Bay

Posted on September 20, 2017 at 10:50 AM

Two sailors were rescued by the Dun Laoghaire RNLI Inshore lifeboat this morning after their small dinghy capsized on Dublin Bay.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI ILB rescues two from capsized dinghy on Dublin Bay. Photo: Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard

The incident occurred shortly before 9am off the West Pier at Dun Laoghaire when the two person crew capsized in the fresh breeze.

Attempts to right their RS200-type boat were unsuccessful and two walkers on the pier spotted their difficulty and called 999 / 112 to raise the alarm.

The Irish Coast Guard’s MRCC Dublin (Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre) requested that RNLI Inshore lifeboat launch immediately to locate and assist the two casualties. The wind and tide conditions were gradually setting the capsized dinghy in the direction of Dublin Port shipping lane.

The ILB crew located the boat shortly after 9.30am. Neither person required medical attention and they were towed back to shore at Dun Laoghaire.

“The RNLI encourages anyone heading to sea to carry some means of signalling for help,” commented Stephen Wynne, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Dun Laoghaire. “Fortunately on this occasion, two pier-walkers spotted the problem and called for help. Otherwise, a 2.5 mile drift northwards and a more serious outcome was likely to have occurred.”

Union Hall RNLI launched to aid a yacht on rocks in Glandore Harbour

Posted on September 11, 2017 at 9:25 AM

Union Hall RNLI was requested to launch on Sunday afternoon (10 September) at 4.21pm by Valentia Coast Guard to reports of a yacht after breaking it's mooring in Glandore harbour and was heading for rocks.

Union Hall RNLI

The volunteer lifeboat crew was underway at 4.32pm and headed to the assistance of the casualty vessel. A crew member was put aboard the yacht and attached a tow line, the casualty vessel was towed back to the safety of Union Hall pier and tied up.

The weather conditions at the time were dry with a wind force westerly 7 gusting 8 and sea conditions were bumpy.

Speaking following the call out John Kelleher Lifeboat Operations Manager said: 'The weather conditions at present are force 7/8 and these are to remain for most of the coming week, if you see someone in trouble please dial 999/112 and ask for the Coast Guard, and for your safety stay away from exposed coastal areas.'

Wicklow RNLI tow damaged yacht with five sailors to safety

Posted on September 10, 2017 at 8:00 PM

Wicklow all-weather lifeboat launched shortly before 6pm on Saturday evening (9 September) to assist a thirteen metre yacht in difficulties off the Wicklow Coast.

Wicklow All-Weather Lifeboat launching on service. Photo: RNLI/Wicklow


The yacht was on passage from Wales to Ireland when the forestay snapped on the mast rigging twenty-three miles off the Wicklow Coast. The skipper contacted the Coast Guard by VHF radio for assistance as they were unable to use the sails in case the mast broke, they were also low on fuel which would prevent them from reaching Wicklow harbour under their own power.

The lifeboat under the command of Coxswain Nick Keogh and six volunteer crew were alongside the stricken vessel at 7.20pm. Conditions at the scene were described as sea state moderate, wind force five, westerly in direction with good visibility.

A towline was quickly rigged to the yacht and the lifeboat crew began a three-hour tow back towards Wicklow harbour.

The yacht with the five sailors was brought safely alongside the south quay at Wicklow harbour at 10.20pm.

The crew on the callout were Coxswain Nick Keogh, Mechanic Brendan Copeland, Ciaran Doyle, Lisa O’ Leary, Terry Sillery, Paul Sillery and John Stapleton.

Skerries RNLI respond to reports of stranded fisherman

Posted on September 3, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Skerries RNLI launched yesterday morning (02 September) after the Coast Guard received a call from a member of the Gardaí that a fisherman was stranded on rocks near Balbriggan.

Volunteer crew member spots Garda waving. Photo: RNLI/Gerry Canning

Shortly after 11am yesterday morning Dublin Coast Guard received a call from a member of the Gardaí that a fisherman had been cut off by the rising tide and was stranded on rocks at the shoreline near Ardgillan Park, just south of Balbriggan. Skerries RNLI were tasked and the lifeboat was launched with volunteer Robert Morgan at the Helm and crewed by David Knight, Gerry Canning and Jack Keane.

The lifeboat proceeded directly to the area indicated by the caller, heading initially towards a well-known outcrop of rocks that extends out a distance into the sea.

Once on scene the crew began an initial search of the area. They then noticed a Garda on the shore waving to attract their attention. The lifeboat was manoeuvred in very shallow waters against a strong breeze to be close enough to shore for a member of the crew to go ashore and speak to them. It transpired that the fisherman, once alerted to his predicament by the Gardaí had waded ashore and was no longer in danger.

The lifeboat was stood down and returned to station.

Speaking about the call out, Lifeboat Press Officer for Skerries RNLI, Gerry Canning said: ‘In this case, the man hadn’t even realised that he had been cut off by the rising tide and was in a dangerous situation. Thankfully the Gardaí on were able to alert him and he managed to wade ashore. If you see anyone in danger in or near the water, dial 999 and ask for the Coast Guard’

Red Bay RNLI assist in search for two missing climbers on Fair Head

Posted on September 3, 2017 at 9:20 AM

Red Bay RNLI all weather lifeboat launched last night (Saturday 2 September) at 10.10pm to assist in locating two missing climbers on Fair Head near Ballycastle.

Red Bay RNLI ALB crew search for missing walkers. Photo: RNLI/Red Bay

A Coastguard rescue helicopter from Scotland was also requested to join the search. Conditions at the time were described as stormy with force six winds on scene.

The two men were successfully located about fifteen metres up the steep rock face and winched on board the helicopter. The Red Bay lifeboat stood by during the extraction of the two casualties off the rock to illuminate the scene with powerful search lights.

The volunteer lifeboat crew returned to station shortly after midnight.

Commenting on the callout Red Bay RNLI Coxswain Paddy McLaughlin said, ‘ Thankfully the two walkers were located very quickly last night as sea conditions were quite poor in the area. The quick extraction of the walkers was aided by the powerful search light of the Red Bay all weather lifeboat and the two men did not suffer any injuries.’

‘Fair Head is a popular area for walkers but people need to take proper precautions. The terrain is extremely rocky and in a fading light can be quite challenging with walkers getting caught out and liable to get stranded or into difficulty.

Baltimore RNLI called out to assist tug broken down off West Cork coast

Posted on September 2, 2017 at 7:55 PM

Baltimore RNLI was called out this morning (Saturday 2 September) to a tug with three people on board which had broken down north of Drowlaun Point off Sherkin Island in West Cork.

Baltimore All-Weather Lifeboat. Photo: RNLI/Baltimore

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 9.45am after they were alerted by the skipper of the tug boat that they had broken down and required assistance. Baltimore lifeboat arrived on scene at 9.52am and established a tow to the casualty vessel, a 12.5m tug boat. Conditions at the time were good with a southerly force 4-5 wind and a calm sea.

The lifeboat towed the vessel back to Baltimore Harbour, securing her to the pier, before returning to the lifeboat station at 10.40am.

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Jerry Smith and crew members Micheal Cottrell, Eoin Ryan, Diarmuid Collins, Jim Baker and Sean McCarthy.

Speaking following the callout, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘With freshening southerly winds and heavy rain forecast for the next 24hrs we are urging everyone in coastal areas especially to be aware of the potential dangers. If you see anyone in difficulty call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat tows boat to safety

Posted on September 1, 2017 at 2:50 PM

Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat launched this morning (Friday 1 September) to a boat which got into difficulties three miles south east of Crow Head on the Beara Peninsula.

Photo: RNLI/Castletownbere

Castletownbere's lifeboat was tasked by Valentia Coastguard Radio this morning at 10.24 a.m. to go to the assistance a thirty-feet angling boat with three people aboard. The boat had issued a call for help as it had experienced mechanical failure and was adrift.

The lifeboat, under the command of Coxswain Brian O’Driscoll, was launched on service within minutes and proceeded to the casualty approximately nine miles south west of Castletownbere harbour.

The casualty was located in fine weather conditions at 11.07 a.m. RNLI volunteers passed a towrope to the anglers’ onboard and the lifeboat took the vessel under tow to Castletownbere. The vessel was berthed alongside the pier in Castletownbere at 12.37 p.m. this afternoon.

RNLI lifeboats to join Search and Rescue partners in major Irish exercise

Posted on September 1, 2017 at 2:35 PM

RNLI lifeboats from Dunmore East and Kilmore Quay are due to take part in a major maritime exercise this Saturday (2 September) in Dunmore East, County Waterford.

Dunmore East All-Weather Lifeboat. Photo: RNLI/Nicholas Leach

The exercise which is held annually at different locations around Ireland is arranged by the Irish Maritime Search and Rescue Committee (IMSARC). The forum is made up of representatives from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, and the users and providers of marine Search and Rescue in Ireland including the RNLI.

The major exercise being held this weekend is designed to be as realistic to a real life maritime emergency as possible and to mirror potential sea and coastal based emergencies requiring the assistance of various Search and Rescue agencies.

The exercise will be led by the Irish Coast Guard with participants including the RNLI, Air Corps, Civil Defence, Comhairle fo Thuinn, (Irish Underwater Council), Commissioners Irish Lights, Dublin Fire Brigade, Harbour Masters of the Port of Waterford and Dunmore East, Health Service Executive, Inland Waters Safety, Naval Service, Naval Service Reserve and the Revenue Customs Service.

The ‘emergencies’ being staged during the day include an onboard fire, a shoreline search, a cliff rescue, a liferaft deployment from the CASA aircraft, a winching exercise, a casualty recovery from the harbour area and a water safety display from the RNLI and Irish Coast Guard. A parade of the maritime and air assets used in the exercises will take place at 4.15pm.

RNLI Lifesaving Manger Gareth Morrison said, ‘with the ever present need for all search and rescue assets to maintain high levels of operational readiness these exercises are vital to ensure the smooth and effective running of Search and Rescue in Ireland. While our volunteer lifeboat crews train all year for every type of emergency at sea, we welcome the chance to work alongside our colleagues in the other agencies to develop and understand how we work together while getting to know each other and what we are capable of carrying out in pressurised and stressful situations.’

Date: Saturday 2nd September 2017

Location: Dunmore East

Time: The main event will commence at 10:30am

Clifden RNLI hoping for the double as All-weather lifeboat gets the go-ahead

Posted on September 1, 2017 at 2:05 PM

Volunteer lifeboat crew at Clifden RNLI are celebrating the news that their all-weather lifeboat is to be permanently allocated at the Connemara lifeboat station following a successful trial which has seen 50 launches by the lifeboat crew and 32 people rescued or assisted.

Clifden RNLI gets permanent All-Weather lifeboat. Photo: RNLI/Clifden

They are now hoping that their good luck rubs off on their fellow countymen this weekend and that the Galway hurlers bring home the Liam MacCarthy cup.

The RNLI and the GAA have announced a major partnership this year for the charity’s Respect the Water drowning prevention campaign aimed at sharing lifesaving advice and information with the sporting organisation’s clubs. In celebrating their good news, lifeboat crew from Clifden RNLI proudly flew the Galway colours in support of the county’s hurlers who are due to play Waterford in the All Ireland final.

The volunteer lifeboat crew first took ownership of an all-weather lifeboat in August 2014 when the Pride and Spirit was officially put on service and became a declared search and rescue asset for a trial period. The lifeboat operated alongside the two inshore lifeboats at the station. The decision followed an in-depth review of lifeboat cover in the area.

John Brittain, Clifden RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager confirmed that the station had received word from the RNLI Trustees that the trial had been a success and the lifeboat will be made permanent.

‘The all-weather lifeboat has enabled us to provide lifesaving cover in all weathers up to 100 miles off the Connemara coast and it has complemented our inshore lifeboat service. During the trial period the all-weather lifeboat has enabled us to assist in and complete medical evacuations from the island of Inishbofin and Inishturk as well as providing assistance to a variety of boats and people in distress.

‘I would like to commend the dedication of our volunteer crew members here in Clifden who have devoted their time to ensure the period of change and training was a success. It is thanks to their efforts that we are now able to provide this service permanently to the Connemara community and to anyone who may find themselves in distress at sea.’